By Stanley Onyekwere
In line with ease of doing business, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has vowed to put an end to multiple taxation for the benefit of Abuja residents.
The FCTA expressed concern over alleged outrageous demands and notices, attributed to the acrimony between its relevant agencies and the Area Council authorities as it relate to the collection of levies, rates and charges in the nation’s capital.
Making this point, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, affirmed that the Administration was not unmindful of the position of the constitution as the supreme law of the country in the discharge of this essential function of government.
Aliyu, who spoke at a retreat: “Resolving the conflicting issues on tax collections in the FCT”, however, noted that the retreat was one of government’s sustained efforts at providing the platform for building a bigger economy.
She assured that efforts are in place to further fine-tune the constitutional provisions especially with respect to the status of Abuja as the seat of the federal government, because the authorities are doing everything possible within the confines of the law to reaching an amicable agreement with the political leaders in the area councils in areas of misunderstanding.
According to her, in the spirit of ease of doing business the FCT Administration welcomes any initiatives that would open the door for investments, create job opportunities and optimally utiliszed the God-given resources which the FCT is blessed with.
While appealing to residents for their support by committing to regular payment of taxes and charges due for services, the Minister however, stressed that the Administration and indeed the six Area Councils, could hardly achieve any development without the payment of taxes, levies and charges on services being rendered.
She therefore assured Chairmen of the six Area Councils of the readiness of her office to collaborate with them for a mutual desire to make life better for residents at the grassroots in the interest of good governance.
Similarly, in his remarks, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, noted that the imposition and collection of tax revenues was a constitutional obligation that binds the citizens and their leaders and provides the needed resources for progressive national development.
Adesola, noted that collection of tax revenues in the FCT to a large extent are being undertaken in a brigand fashion, thus inflicting mental and physical torture on the citizens.
“We can easily recall and relate to the viral but avoidable incident where customers were locked inside a restaurant in the FCC by overzealous Area Council’s revenue officials; a situation that gravely caused serious embarrassment to the government.
“The more friendly our businesses environment is, the more we will be able to attract investments that will in turn result to higher tax revenue. The corollary will undermine our revenue generation efforts to the detriment of all,” the Permanent Secretary affirmed.